IAPD – The performance Plastics association
by Susan Avery, CAE

f you’ve been to the IAPD website lately, you might have noticed a new logo in the upper left hand corner. The art is the same, but there is a subtle — yet significant — change to the grey type. IAPD Vice President Peter DelGado of Curbell Plastics, Inc. unveiled the logo with the tagline on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, during his speech at the opening general session of the 66th Annual IAPD Convention and connecX in Tampa, FL, USA.

“The IAPD Board of Directors and Executive Committee had numerous conversations about the association name and how to integrate ‘performance plastics’ into the branding. They ultimately decided that they did not want to change the association name, as it is still an accurate representation of what the organization stands for: a trade association composed of companies from around the world that believe in distribution as the way to market for performance plastics,” said DelGado. “However, they still wanted to integrate the word ‘performance.’ Thus, the concept of adding a tagline was proposed, and IAPD leadership approved “the performance plastics association.”

Susan Avery

The term “performance plastics” was developed during a spring leadership conference several years ago as a way to distinguish the niche of the plastics industry that IAPD serves from the rest of the larger plastics industry. The materials that IAPD members manufacture, distribute, fabricate and recycle are high-end, engineering grade or industrial materials that are built to last. They are used in many exciting applications in most vertical markets, including aerospace, medical, alternative energy, signage, food & beverage processing, water/wastewater and so on.

The adoption of the tagline ‘the performance plastics association’ is a natural evolution in the branding of IAPD. When I tell people that I’m with IAPD, the next thing I usually say is ‘the performance plastics association.’ As the term has gained traction, whether through the rebranding of our flagship magazine or during our meetings with Members of Congress in Washington, D.C., it has become more evident that is how we are known. I commend IAPD’s leadership for taking this next step in the association’s evolution. It honors our 65+ year heritage, our roots in distribution and our commitment to improving lives everywhere through applications made with performance plastics.

Exciting convention news

The December/January issue of this magazine will include the full convention recap, but I’d like to share some of the highlights with you now.

In attendance were 58 first-time delegates, as well as eight individuals from new member companies that joined the association in 2022. Overall, approximately 400 people attended the convention, an increase from 2021.

The IAPD Workforce Development Task Force concluded their research and work on two videos to highlight skilled trade and professional career opportunities in the performance plastics industry. This task force was created to address the challenges of attracting, hiring and retaining talent in the industry. The skilled trade and professional recruitment videos were presented to the association during the opening general session on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

The IAPD Recycling Task Force presented their design of a recycling directory on the IAPD website, and the “Recycling Best Practices” document for IAPD distributor and fabricator members to start or improve upon their recycling efforts, as well as how to find recyclers.

Two keynote speakers presented after the speech of IAPD President Deborah Ragsdale, Polymer Industries, during the opening general session. Keynote Alan Stein, Jr., author of Raise Your Game: High Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best, spoke to raising the standards on an individual and business level. Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics, provided an economic and business trends forecast from now until 2030.

Breakout education sessions included:

  • IAPD’s legislative advocacy team in Washington, D.C. was represented by Ari Storch and Tiffany Shackelford, Esq., of the Madison Group, who discussed the War on Plastics — highlighting the negative perceptions of plastics and how the industry could respond.
  • Performance plastics industry leader Chris Ranallo, Ensinger, spoke about leadership lessons in recreating company culture, and steps to take to achieve an environment that fosters productivity and retention.
  • Dr. Keith Hechtel, DBA, Curbell Plastics, Inc., gave a successful workshop on advanced business communications for performance plastics professionals.
  • Lora Cecere, thought leader, published author and researcher on supply chains, discussed customer service tactics during supply chain disruptions.

Throughout the week, suppliers and distributors hosted private meetings to cover new product launches, discuss supply chain and logistics issues, share company strategies and plans for the upcoming year. On the final afternoon of the convention, the IAPD convention connecX trade show provided distributors, fabricators, manufacturers, resin manufacturers, equipment and other service provider members and nonmembers alike the opportunity to meet at any of the booths on the trade show floor.

Looking ahead

For more information about the announcements made at the convention, please see the Press Room at www.iapd.org and check out the December/January issue of this magazine. I also invite you to visit the Resources Library at www.iapd.org to see the exciting new member resources now available to you.